South Africa

'City free of wasteful spending,' says Cape mayor

'City free of wasteful spending,' says Cape mayor
The clock is ticking for municipalities as the National Treasury’s new  municipal cost containment regulations come into effect next month.

According to Finance Minister Tito Mboweni, the regulations aim to promote better governance and management of finances by municipalities.

Mboweni wants to clamp down on wasteful expenditure.

Mayor Dan Plato said: “When it comes to cost saving, the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape government have for a long time already had measures in place to keep costs as low as possible.

“The revelations at the Zondo Commission (and other judicial inquiries) have shown that it is ANC corruption, and the undermining of the criminal justice system, that has impoverished our country ”

He also called on Mboweni to lead by example.

“In essence, these regulations are a formalising of the cost containment guidelines issued by the Treasury about five years ago, which the City has been complying with and which informs our planning and budget processes.

“The city is already compliant with most of what is contained in the gazetted regulations, and we welcome the fact that they have now been formalised,” Plato said.

Earlier this year, the Cape Argus reported that councillors received cellphone allowances, data bundles, travel allowances, official accommodation (for mayors) with furniture and fittings as well as bodyguards, on top of a hefty salary. Councillors drew a 4% salary increase last year.

Accordingly, full-time councillors who served as so-called “mini” mayors in metro municipalities pocketed R1.35 million in annual remuneration packages, speakers and deputy mayors received R1.09m, and members of the executive committee, whips or chairpersons of subcouncils R1.02m.

StopCoct founder Sandra Dickson said the city was trimming fat, but not in the right areas.

“They are still expanding their staff complement and contractors at an alarming rate. The city seems to be cutting in areas where it boils down to small issues. They also delay many projects to subsequent years and claim to save money doing it.

“On the other hand huge sums of money are still spent on big ticket projects such as safety and security and the new water plan. None of these have proven to have given results to date,” Dickson said.

In a recent radio interview Plato said the city was not guilty of unnecessary and wasteful spending.


Cape Argus